Tompkins County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the County Legislature of Tompkins County as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
119a Schedule of Aquatic Invasive Species
[Adopted 7-17-2012 by L.L. No. 4-2012]
This article shall be known and may be cited as "A Local Law to Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species in Tompkins County."
The Tompkins County Legislature hereby finds and determines that aquatic invasive species can displace native species and alter natural ecosystems and cause negative environmental and economic impacts such as that presently occurring with regard to the infestation by the invasive submerged aquatic plant, Hydrilla verticillata (Hydrilla), in Cayuga Inlet. Ultimately, residents and visitors to Tompkins County alike are negatively impacted by the decline in quality of any water body subjected to aquatic invasive species. It is the intent of this article to protect the ecology of water bodies wholly or partially located and/or accessed in Tompkins County by preventing the introduction of any aquatic invasive species and therefore helping to protect the environment and economy of Tompkins County.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES
With respect to waters located and/or accessed in Tompkins County, any aquatic species, whether animal or plant, including its eggs, spores or other biological material capable of propagating or reproducing that species, whether or not natural to said waters, including all of its cultivars and varieties, whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Invasive species, as that term is used herein, includes but is not limited to Asian clam (Corbicula fluminea), Eurasian water milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga mussels (Dreissena bugensis). Aquatic invasive species shall also include any species listed separately either within the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, New York State Rules and Regulations or by a local agency duly authorized to define invasive species and as listed on the attached schedule,[1] as it may be amended from time to time. Commercial availability of an aquatic invasive species, such as in aquarium stores, pet stores, bait shops, or otherwise, does not exempt such plant or animal from the provisions of this legislation.
HAUL
To lift a watercraft above or lift above and remove beyond 50 feet from the high water mark of any water body.
LAUNCH
To place a watercraft into a water body for any purpose and any related activity that takes place within 50 feet of the high water mark of the water body for the purpose of placing a watercraft into a water body, including moving by trailer or other device or carrying by hand a watercraft toward a water body, or entering a queue prior to launching.
PERSON
Any individual, governmental entity, firm, partnership, corporation, company, society, association, or any organized group of persons, whether incorporated or not, and every officer, agent, or employee thereof.
WATER BODY
The same as "waters."
WATERCRAFT
Every motorized or nonmotorized boat, vessel, shell, jet ski, personal watercraft, canoe, kayak, raft, derrick, barge, platform or vehicle, either recreational or commercial, capable of being used or operated in or on water.
WATERS
All lakes, including Cayuga Lake, bays, sounds, ponds, impounding reservoirs, springs, wells, rivers, streams, creeks, including intermittent streams or creeks, estuaries, marshes, inlets, canals, ephemeral drainageways, and ditches, within the territorial limits of the County of Tompkins, and all other bodies of surface or underground water, natural or artificial, fresh, public or private, that are wholly or partially within or bordering the County or within its jurisdiction.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Schedule of Aquatic Invasive Species is included at the end of this chapter.
A. 
In Tompkins County, it shall be unlawful for any person to:
(1) 
Launch, haul, or attempt to enter or exit a watercraft into or from a water body with any plant or animal, or parts thereof, visible to the human eye in, on, or attached to any part of the watercraft, including in live wells, bilges or confined spaces, the motor, raw water cooling system, rudder, anchor or other appurtenance, any equipment or gear, or trailer or any other device used to transport or launch a watercraft that may come into contact with the water;
(2) 
Enter the County, or transport within the County, watercraft without first removing by hand any and all plant or animal, or parts thereof, visible to the human eye in, on, or attached to any part of the watercraft, including in live wells, bilges, the motor, rudder, anchor or other appurtenance, any equipment or gear, or the trailer or any other device used to transport or launch a watercraft that may come into contact with the water;
(3) 
Introduce, throw, dump, deposit, place, allow or cause to be propagated, transplanted, introduced, thrown, dumped, deposited or placed in any water body, in whatever capacity and for whatever purpose, an aquatic invasive species.
B. 
In addition, any and all items removed pursuant to the requirements of this article must be discarded away from the shoreline in such a manner as to prevent the removed items from re-entering any water body.
The provisions of § 119-4 of this article shall not apply to:
A. 
The use of the above-water portions of native or noninvasive plants for camouflage of the watercraft for the purpose of hunting, consistent with all applicable laws and regulations related to the use, possession and harvesting of plants and provided that the source of any such plant is the water body in which it is used.
B. 
The intentional transport of plants or animals for food, research, or landscaping, provided they are fully and securely contained within or on board the watercraft.
C. 
Dredging approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation or the appropriate regulatory agency.
Any person who engages in any activity prohibited by this article shall be guilty of a violation. Every person convicted of a violation of this article shall be subject to a fine of not more than $250.
Enforcement of this article shall be in the same manner as a traffic violation is handled: through the use of an appearance ticket and procedures similar to that used to enforce the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York, except that the citation may be in a form determined to be adequate and expedient by the law enforcement agency issuing the citation.